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Manu Sharma parties and returns to prison

Delhi govt defends decision recommending parole.

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Updated:November 10, 2009, 12:11 PM IST
Manu Sharma parties and returns to prison
Delhi govt defends decision recommending parole.

New Delhi: Businessman Manu Sharma, who is serving a life sentence for the murder of model Jessica Lall, voluntarily returned to a jail in New Delhi on Tuesday after a controversy over the state government's decision to grant him parole for two months.

"He surrendered voluntarily before the Tihar Jail administration just before noon today (Tuesday)," a jail official told IANS.

"However, the decision on cancelling his parole has not been taken yet," he said

Undergoing life imprisonment for murder of Lall in 1999, Sharma was granted parole on the ground that his mother was seriously ill and he had to attend to family business matters.

His parole was extended October 22 for 30 more days on Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's recommendation to Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna.

Last Friday, Sharma went partying in two New Delhi hotels--Ashok and Samrat. The Dikshit-led Congress government came under severe criticism for releasing Sharma on parole when news of this broke. Sharma is the son of a Congress politician from Haryana.

On Saturday, his mother Shakti Rani looked fine when she was seen at the family-run Piccadilly Hotel in Chandigarh, holding a press conference about a women's cricket tournament.

A top Delhi government official told PTI Sharma, as per the parole norms, should not have been present in Delhi as he was given parole under the condition that he will visit Chandigarh to meet his "ailing" mother.

"We have sought a detailed report from Delhi Police about whether Sharma visited the city (New Delhi)," the official said.

Meanwhile, victims' families and friends said that they were appalled at the way Manu Sharma had been given parole, all rules flouted.

"Everyone deserves to get a parole, but there are hundreds of people who are waiting for with with any progress in their plea, so with this case it it is very evident that money, power and politics plays an important role. My family faced a big problem when we asked for parole. Because of this archaic criminal law, ordinary people suffer, but thanks to media and public awareness there is hope that we will one day be at par with everyone and get equal treatment and there will be a scenario where law is not manipulated by power or politics or without money buying it," said Bina Ramani, in who's eatery - Tamarind Court - Jessica Lall was shot dead.

It was preposterous that he came out on such grounds. We need changes in the law. We should make sure that punishment is given for attaining parole on false grounds. The system seems to be worried more about the rights of the criminal than that of the victim," said the mother of Nitish Katara, Neelam Katara.

Nitish Katara was killed by Vikas Yadav because he had befriended Yadav's sister.

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